Jessica Jones showrunner Melissa Rosenberg knew that she wanted to hire more female directors for the 13-episode second season, but she didn’t ever think about hiring only women. However, when she spoke to Allie Goss, Netflix’s vice president for original series, Goss asked, “Why not all 13?”
Rosenberg eagerly jumped on the idea. And here’s the most important part of her initiative: it was really easy for her to find those 13 qualified women.
“It didn’t take a lot of effort to fill those slots,” Rosenberg says. “There’s a lot of highly qualified and talented female directors out there, so what we did was simply open the door. It wasn’t like we had to give a bunch of women their first break. It was just being inclusive.”
To emphasize this, the Jessica Jones Twitter account has been tweeting about the women directors and their accomplishments. For example, Millicent Shelton directed Episode 5, “AKA The Octopus.” She was previously nominated for a primetime Emmy for her work on the 30 Rock episode “Apollo, Apollo” and has directed episodes of Black-ish, Supergirl, and Runaways.
Meet Millicent Shelton, one of the directors of Season 2. She was the first African American woman to receive a primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series. #femalefilmmakerfriday pic.twitter.com/B9wTveib1X
— Jessica Jones (@JessicaJones) March 2, 2018
Deborah Chow, who directed Episode 4, “AKA God Help the Hobo,” has previously directed episodes of Reign, Fear the Walking Dead, and The Vampire Diaries.
— Jessica Jones (@JessicaJones) February 23, 2018
Jennifer Lynch, who directed Episode 11, “AKA Three Lives and Counting,” was the first woman to win Best Director at the New York City Horror Film Festival.
Meet Jennifer Lynch, one of the directors of Season 2. She made history at the 2008 New York City Horror Film Festival when she became the first female to win Best Director. #femalefilmmakerfriday pic.twitter.com/buU0wmM2L6
— Jessica Jones (@JessicaJones) March 9, 2018
Liz Friedlander, who directed Episode 12, “AKA Pray for My Patsy,” has previously directed music videos for artists like U2, R.E.M., Kelly Clarkson, and Avril Lavigne and episodes of shows like Sleepy Hollow, Gossip Girl, and The Vampire Diaries.
Meet Liz Friedlander, one of the directors of Season 2. Before entering the world of TV and movies, she directed music videos. Get to know each of our 13 powerful directors, starting now. #femalefilmmakerfriday pic.twitter.com/rXpaJo9Mj3
— Jessica Jones (@JessicaJones) February 16, 2018
The show even commissioned custom, pulp-style artwork from female comics artists for each episode. “It wasn’t like I was doing them any favors,” Rosenberg said of her directors. “They were doing us a favor by joining our roster. And, you know, we’re looking forward to the day when we’re not even having this conversation, we’re just talking about them as qualified people who happen to be women. Hopefully, we’re there someday, but now? Not yet.”
Jessica Jones is now streaming on Netflix.
(Via EW; image: Netflix)
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